July 31, 2003
As I’ve mentioned infrequently, I’ve been doing some volunteer work for the Howard Dean campaign for the past few months. I now have an official title — “Senior Internet Advisor” — so I figure I should come out of the closet entirely.
The title formalizes what I’ve been doing so far: Sundry writing for the campaign and talking with them about Net issues. I’ve also done a little speaking on behalf of the campaign — well, once, substituting for Joe Trippi, the campaign manager, at a panel in DC on the Internet and democracy. Now I’ll be doing more writing, advising and speaking for the campaign. I’m thrilled, of course.
Why Dean? Because he’s the candidate closest to my views who can beat Bush. The Dean campaign has been doing an astounding job of energizing a base of voters who haven’t cared enough to come to the polls before. I like that strategy a lot better than trying to get 51% of the center by out-Bushing Bush.
And no campaign has ever gotten the Internet so right. They aren’t just working the email lists and using the Net as a way to drive down the cost of mass politicking. From Joe Trippi on down they “get” the Net. They understand that it’s about giving voice to the “ends” of the Net (AKA us), that it means they lose some control of their message, that they need to enable groups to self-organize, that it’s about listening and conversations more than about center-out broadcasting. This is an end-to-end campaign. The staff is webby to the core. If you met ‘em, you’d love ‘em.
So, yeah, I’m for Dean. And I’m proud and a-tingle at being to help in some little way.